Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which runs the affairs of the richest Hindu temple, is enforcing Geographical Indication (GI) rights for its famous 'Tirupati laddu'.
The Office of the Registrar of Patents, Trademarks and Geographical Indications, India has already awarded the status to Tirupati laddu, the famed sweet given to millions of pilgrims as 'prasadam' or sacred offering by Tirumala temple.
TTD had filed an application for GI to safeguard its intellectual property. The GI registration was facilitated by Confederation of Indian Industry's Andhra Pradesh Technology Development and Promotion Centre (APTDC), said a statement here Friday.
APTDC, through its network partners, brought out the fact that a few entities from small time miscreants to large well known sweet outlets have been selling 'laddus' with names similar to 'Tirupati laddu'.
The Madras High Court in December last year had restrained a sweet stall in Chennai from selling 'laddus' by using the brand name 'Tirupati laddu'.
The TTD had argued that 'Tirupati laddu' has its own sanctity as it is offered at the feet of Lord Venketeshwara before being made available to devotees.
The laddu, made from flour, sugar, ghee, oil, cardamom and dry fruits is sought after by those visiting the temple. The temple authorities prepare around 50 million 'laddus' every year.
TTD, which last week approved an annual budget of Rs.2,401 crore for 2014-15, has projected revenue of Rs.190 crore from sale of 'prasadam'.